Monday, July 30, 2012

Leaving Meal for Chris

I'd like to thank Mike for arranging a meal at Kayyal Indian restaurant in Leicester to say goodbye to me.  It was a lovely evening, in good company and good food.  Mike composed a poem for me, and presented me with a beautiful gift - a wooden fold-out shrine, originally Chinese and found by him in a market in the middle of Kabul, Afghanistan!  Thanks to everyone, and I'll post the poem here, cos really it's a celebration of our whole group, not just about me...   Many blessings to everyone, Chris

Chris's Leaving Dharma poem  (by Mike Petterson)

Stillness in a whirlpool
Whirlpool in stillness
The noise of his silence
And the silence of his conversation

Circles circles circles
No edges
Just roundness
Eyes seeking eyes
Ears aware of ears
Voice connecting with awareness

The Sufi of Serenity
He dances his whirling dance
Bringing together
Playing the pied pipers tune
For all who can or want to hear

This is no room for closed minds
All dharmas have respect in our house
We seek truth beyond truth
Love beyond love
Life beyond life

Rumi is our guide
Zen is our koan
Buddha is our way
Krishna is our love
Jesus is our joy
Allah is our path

We say adieu
In gratitude and love
Your kindness still and bright
Your talent and life for all to sense, feel and see
May we all remain connected
And guide each other on the way
Au revoir, auf wiedersehn, goodbye, namaste
We know in our heads all things are impermanent
But our human hearts still feel loss
Stay in touch
Value rare connections
But move on to greater happiness

Friday, July 27, 2012

Music Circle at Yesim Patisserie Cafe

For a few months now I've been arranging a music circle in a local cafe here in Leicester, which several people from the Great Heart Society have been taking part in regularly.  We do it on Sunday evenings once a fortnight, it's unplugged and acoustic so everyone can listen to each other's voices.  We have English folk, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Kurdish, Turkish, Iranian, Scottish and Irish, original songs, classical violin and piano... it's really a rich mix of different voices and nationalities, with a warm-hearted circle atmosphere like the Great Heart Circle.  Zen Master Bernie Glassman describes the point of Zen practice as realising and embodying the Oneness of Life.  Spiritual groups can only go so far in this, cos they only attract people who are interested in meditation etc.  A circle like the Yesim Music Circle can include a much wider variety of people, and give a bigger sense of what this 'oneness' is about  beyond the label of 'religion' or 'spirituality'.  The cafe owners are Alevi-Bektashi, from Turkey, and have the ideal of Humanness - "Insan" - deep in their culture.  For me the Music Circle helps us feel the oneness of our shared humanity, and celebrate it through musical expression.  Ya Hajji Bektash Veli, Patron Saint of the musical Anatolian Alevis!

Friday, July 6, 2012

July Great Heart Circle

A small intimate meeting of the Great Heart Circle welcomed Mark as the new facilitator.

The full moon on Tuesday evening was the Guru Purnima, in Hindu and Buddhist cultures a time to celebrate the Guru. This was a good opportunity for us to reflect upon Teachers in our lives, whether it has been Gurus, parents, other people or events.

Sometimes our hearts and minds engage and open with philosophy, sometimes with poetry, sometimes with walking under the trees in the garden and sometimes with music.  Toward the One,  Greg played us out with an Air on his violin.